Annabelle Rose “Blueberry” Alzen’s Birth Story
I got up around 4:30 on Monday, September 15, 2014. This would be the day “Blueberry” would be born via c-section. We would finally meet our baby. By this point, my sciatica was pretty bad. Each night and morning it would be almost impossible for me to get out of bed and walk without experiencing some pretty bad pain in my lower back, and it was more and more difficult to move around. Husband would often have to push me out of the couch, I was walking pretty slowly, and carrying much of anything proved difficult. We were at 39 weeks and 3 days, but Blueberry was still in breech position.
On our way out the door, we were greeted by birthday decorations from our sweet housemates. As I was feeling a little nervous about surgery, this was a sweet encouragement very early in the morning. We got to the hospital right about 5:30 to check in and do all of the pre-op hullabaloo. I held it together for a hot 20 minutes before I pretty much started sobbing out of fear. This was the first time I had ever had surgery, and I was just terrified of everything that was going to happen. The nurses and doctors kept asking me what exactly was scary for me. It wasn’t that I feared I or my child would die. I was just scared of the whole process. Everyone was so wonderful to supportive though. They were encouraging when I cried and patiently answered all of my questions. I just had waves of tears on and off from about 6 to 7:30. It was how I dealt with the stress of fear. In the pre-op room we answered a lot of questions, got me into my hospital gown and compression stockings, went over the process with the anesthesiologist, talked with the surgeon, and got my IV put in. The only mishap in all of that was a blown vein in my left arm from a failed IV attempt.
We walked into the operating room at about 7:40 when I started sobbing again. It was just a lot. There were so many people and scary things in there, and it was so bright. I sat on the table for a few minutes while people got all of their things in order. Soon the anesthesiologist poked around on my back to find the space between my vertebrae where the spinal block would go. He uncomfortably poked me and drew lines all over my back. Then he got to work with a handful of injections for the local numbing agent. I only felt the first 2-3. The pain was similar to that of a bee sting, and there was a sensation of cold water dripping down my back. The anticipation and stress building up to this point was pretty intense, so I think I tensed up and felt more pain than I would have if I could have been calmer about the whole thing. The numbing injections took effect rather quickly, and he went ahead with the spinal block. Within moments my legs got very heavy, and they had me fall to my side on the table.
They put my body where they wanted it, and since there was morphine in the spinal block, I started to calm down relatively quickly. They put the drape up at my chest, and proceeded to finish up all the pre-op procedures. At this point, all I could feel was relative movement in my body. Within just a few minutes, they held the baby up for husband to announce that we had a baby girl! I saw her for a second before they took her over to a table in the corner to give her an APGAR score. She scored an 8 and then 9 due to color. She was shortly brought back to me and we were able to have some skin to skin time while they worked on closing me up.
After a few minutes, a nurse and husband took the baby to the recovery room where I would meet up with them once again. The feelings on the table were very surreal. There were feelings of pulling and tugging that were a little unnerving, but nothing terrible. After just a few more minutes I was moved to another bed and taken back into the pre-op room. I actually don’t remember very much of the recovery room and have no concept of how long we were in there before we were transferred to our permanent room.
I think we got to our hospital room around 10:30 or 11. Again, I was pretty drugged up, so I don’t remember a whole lot. I know the goal for the first day was to feel my legs again and be able to move my feet. I pretty much had to watch husband take care of Annabelle for everything except feedings. He did an amazing job, and I found myself more in love with him each moment. I dangled my feet off the side of the bed twice that day. By Tuesday I could stand and sit on a chair next to the bed. By Wednesday, I could walk around the floor slowly. Thursday we could have gone home, but since we had the option to stay until Friday for one extra day of support, we took it.
We came home as our little family of three around noon on Friday, my original due date. Our sweet Annabelle Rose is here to stay. Nights are currently rough, but days make up for it. Praying for our sweet girl to grow happily and healthily.